Friday, May 29, 2009
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Warwick Pool, 3315 Landover St.
Open weekends only through June 28
Open daily, beginning June 29 - September 7
Operating hours: 11 am - 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and noon - 7 p.m. Monday - Friday
Admission fees: Free for children (0-4) $1 for children (ages 5 – 17) and adults (age 60 and older); $2 for adults (ages 18 – 59); and $3 for nonresidents.
The site includes a 25-yard pool with diving well and a separate wading pool for children up to 42 inches in height. A bathhouse is available. Picnic areas are located inside the pool complex as well as next-door, where a modern playground featuring a tot playground is also available. The complex provides natural privacy as beautiful trees and shrubberies surround it. Note: The training pool is temporarily closed pending renovations to achieve compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Safety Act. For information, call Ralph Baird, Aquatics Supervisor, at 703.519.2160, ext. 26.
Season passes for Old Town and Warwick pools can be purchased at the Chinquapin Park Recreation Center, located at 3210 King St.
For outdoor and indoor pool information, group reservations, and season passes, call Ralph Baird, Aquatics Supervisor for the Department Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, at 703.519.2160, extension 26, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.alexandriava.gov/
More news from MOM's today about another initiative:
Recycle Denim Jeans at MOM's:
Is your closet full of faded, ripped jeans that you never wear? This is your chance to free up some closet space AND do a little good. From now until June 14th, you can recycle tattered, torn or otherwise unwearable denim jeans at MOM's. With the help of National Geographic Kids, the cloth will be donated to COTTON FROM BLUE TO GREEN to be turned into Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation. The environmentally safe, formaldehyde-free insulation is used to build homes in areas that have been ravaged by hurricanes, tornadoes or other natural disasters.
Please recycle only denim that can no longer be worn. Unwanted wearable jeans can be donated to many local shelters and charities. If you do bring wearable jeans to MOM's before June 14th, we will happily donate them to be reused -- Just let us know when you drop them off, so we can sort them out of the main collection area.
Thanks for helping us live up to MOM’s mission:
"To Protect and Restore the Environment."
Thursday, May 28, 2009
"Arlington is the bit of Virginia just across the Potomac River from the monumental core of Washington, D.C. that leveraged the arrival of two Metro rail lines in the 60’s and 70’s to renew and revitalize their county into a prosperous, enjoyable and livable community that is a sought-after destination for employers, businesses, residents and visitors.Arlington County has produced an hour long movie that tells the story. Entitled, "Arlington's Smart Growth Journey", it's available on DVD or online here.
Today, Arlington is a shining example of what citizen engagement, visionary planning, and wise use of scarce resources can do for the livability of a community.
But it didn’t just happen by chance. So how did Arlington get from point A to point B? And more importantly, do the citizens of Arlington have any idea how their county made this transition and became this smart growth success story? Do they even know the story?
But the story is more than just about the Metro line corridors. Of particular interest is the history and planning of nearby Shirlington and Nauck, neighborhoods that not only share boundaries with Arlandria, but share a common history and face many of the same issues.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth has recognized these unique issues and has organized a walking tour devoted to this discussion:
Explore Shirlington's Urban Village
Please join us for our first-ever walking tour of this Arlington neighborhood. Come find out why everyone is talking about Shirlington!
Is it possible to create a walkable, mixed-use community without Metro? Shirlington thinks so -- and has the goods to prove it. Our latest tour showcases a walkable, mixed-use community with culture, recreation and retail galore. And you still don't need a car to get there.
Check out urban smart growth in a community not served by rail, but with a state of the art bus transit center. You'll see the integration of public services and private development in the Signature Theatre, new library branch and retail, apartments and office. Enjoy pedestrian-prioritized streetscapes and the integration of park, recreation and trail spaces.
Arlington County Board Member Chris Zimmerman will be our tour guide, with additional remarks from former board member and current Clerk of the Court Paul Ferguson and CSG Housing Director Melissa Bondi.
Getting to Shirlington
Shirlington is one of the most accessible places in the region despite not having Metrorail, and we hope you'll arrive by bike, foot, or transit. The neighborhood is served by several Metrobus routes, all connecting to the nearby Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations.
*$10 Suggested Donation
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The new trail eliminated nearly a mile of on-street riding and difficult road crossings and offers pedestrians and bicyclists a safer, more direct path along the Four Mile Run stream. The project brings new landscaping to the stream bank and a sanitary sewer main that increases capacity and helps prevent back-ups.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
8:30 a.m. – Bike ride from Courthouse Plaza
10:00 a.m. – Ribbon-Cutting ceremony
WHERE: New Four Mile Run Trail Connection (outdoors)
South 27th Road and South Four Mile Run Drive
The event is accessible via bike from the existing Four Mile Run and Washington & Old Dominion Trails, as well as by Metrobus 10B, 23AC, 25PR.
Visit www.bikearlington.com for a more information about Arlington’s bicycle-friendly community, including bike maps, commuting by bicycle, and safety tips. Or visit: LocalMotion for info about bike & pedestrian programs in Alexandria.
Previously, Metro tested the service on only a few, select lines...and the 10A, 10B and 10E were not among them. But soon we should see NextBus medalions appearing at all of the stops along the Avenue, just like this one at Executive Avenue. These signs give the phone number to call and the bus stop identifier -- the seven digit number that allows quick access to bus info.
While the system isn't yet quite fully activated, riders can currently use the number to access the Trip Planner, a fully functioning, voice-recognition trip planning system similar to the system available at WMATA's online site, that provides schedule information for the DASH bus as well as Metrorail and Metrobus.
In Summer 2008, Mayor Bill Euille and Alexandria Rugby sent a Select XV men’s team over to Dundee for the first ever Mayor’s Cup Challenge Rugby Match between sister cities. Dundee won the first one, and now it’s payback time for the Potomac Rugby Union players. (eRugbyNews)Bring your haggis, bagpipes, and kilt. Before donning that last one, I'd check the weather for any high wind warnings.
Event will be held at GW Stadium Field, 1005 Mt. Vernon Ave. from 10am – 6 pm. For more information, call Owen Malone at 703.851.6188 or email email@example.com.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Reducing how much we drive -- child miles traveled? | Yahoo! Green:
"Among the many solutions for dealing with the environmental impacts of transportation, driving fewer miles is by far the least controversial. After all, who doesn't want to spend less time in the car? Planners and politicians alike find the safest bet for greening transportation lies in reducing our vehicle miles traveled (VMTs),"This sentiment echoes what the consultants presented recently to the Potomac Yard Planning group.
The choices are between the status quo:Or something better:
And it's a choice about who uses our roads:
And how dependent we are upon them:
And it's not just a choice that has to be made at Potomac Yard, but in Arlandria as well. Otherwise, we'll end up with more of what the US Census found in 2000: Arlandrians travelling further for work (and everything else) than those in nearby neighborhoods:
Discover it for yourselves...and see why locals prefer to say "way-ful":
The Waffle Shop, which occupies a strange, triangular peninsula of cement, like Alexandria’s own tiny Flatiron Building, is one of the city’s few 24 hours a day/7 days a week operations. .... At all hours you can look through large picture windows and see a gritty, grease-spattered Edward Hopper scene: construction workers, bus drivers, and other folks sitting at the grungy, counter scarfing down food out of Styrofoam containers. The secret to the Waffle Shop’s success? Clarified butter.
3864 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
See their listing on yelp and add a review.
Monday, May 25, 2009
There are numerous options on the table that come at the cost of those who serve to benefit (HOV 3 and congestion pricing come to mind). Repeat: communities inside the beltway should not be expected to sacrifice to benefit the commutes of those outside the beltway.
Sign this petition if you oppose HOT lanes inside the beltway on 395.
Friday, May 22, 2009
"Former sportscaster and voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Nat Albright, and Pat Malone of the Alexandria Aces join Glenn for some baseball talk. You can join the discussion at 8 pm by calling 703-387-1020"
Tune in from 8-8:30 tonight on Comcast channel 8.
Girl, 4, Not Critically Hurt in Alexandria Accident: "A 4-year-old girl who was crossing an Alexandria street with her mother during the morning rush hour was hit by a car and taken to the hospital by helicopter with an injury that was not life-threatening.
Police and fire officials said the girl was hit by a slow-moving car as it made a left turn at the intersection of Glebe Road and Commonwealth Avenue about 8:10 a.m. The girl was awake and alert when she was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital."
American families who are car-dependent spend 25 percent of their household income on their fleet of cars, compared with just 9 percent for transportation for those who live in walkable urban places. That potential 16 percent savings could go into improved housing (building household wealth), educating children or that most un-American of all activities, saving.Spending time close to home is actually a huge boon to your household bottom-line. With this in mind, keep pushing for the city to spend a fair share of money improving our streetscape. We still need significant improvements in the walkability of our neighborhood. A walkable community provides more jobs, places to play, and places to live within a short distance of each-other.
There is an aging list of projects to make the north end of Mt. Vernon Ave more pedestrian and bike friendly. The Arlandria small area plan could have gone a long way towards creating a very appealing and walkable neighborhood were it implemented as originally scheduled.
Some members of City Council are trying to establish resources in Planning and Zoning committed to our neighborhood. The city is about to begin working a new action plan for the North End of the venue. The current schedule says they'll begin this process in November, though that doesn't mean we should wait to identify our priorities for the neighborhood. Much of the last action plan, in the heyday for Alexandria's revenue stream, fizzled and died on the vine. Residents in the area can't let up on city government to follow up with actions they identify and schedule for the community. Check back as we'll have more information about the planning for and creation of this action plan for our community.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Earlier we reported the deferral of the emergency bridge loan for Glebe Park. But this past Saturday, Alexandria City Council re-considered the loan and approved it, allowing the project to go forward. Here's the story as reported AlexandriaNews.org and The Alexandria Times.
From an earlier Alexandria Gazette article:
The $15.7 million Glebe Park redevelopment is slated to replace 40 public-housing units in the existing Glebe Park property in Arlandria and 44 units from the James Bland property in the Parker Gray neighborhood. Because proceeds from the sale of the market-rate lots at Bland are needed to finance the redevelopment at Glebe, the credit crunch has created a backlog in both neighborhoods. And city officials said that without the loan, both redevelopment efforts would be stalled indefinitely.
A new group of presentations were given the other night to the Potomac Yard Planning Group.
In addition to updates on the analyses regarding limitations facing the project because of restrictions on development in the walk-shed either due to FAA clearance regulations or NPS easements, this new set of documents fleshed out some of the impacts on vehicular traffic.
First, there's the series of issues we've already discussed here.
The development potential in the walk-shed of each possible station location:
And the potential ridership within those walk-sheds:
And the issues of where the existing Metro tracks are located in relationship to the the heavy freight rail and possible new development:
But also now being incorporated into the discussions are some analyses of how development decisions will impact the ability to pay for a station. The group also received this primer on the principles of development economics.
Also there was some more detail fleshed out regarding how the Metro stations could be incorporated into new development and a new version of the northern aerial location option (Alternative D).
The newest material included analyses of traffic over the long-term under the various scenarios.
The consultant's report concluded with this observation (emphasis added):
Over time, the vehicular transportation network will steadily approach capacity and traffic delays will increase on major roadways such as US 1. Regardless of whether and at what density Potomac Yard is developed, US 1 will reach its vehicular capacity. If Alexandria and other local trips do not use available road capacity, then regional trips will consume the available capacity.
The investments in the multimodal transportation network that are already planned will create substantial people movement capacity to accommodate increases in travel demand associated with continued development in Alexandria as well as in Potomac Yard specifically. Additional development in Potomac Yard will contribute to increases in traffic congestion at some intersections and reduced travel speeds in major road corridors.
Redevelopment will provide immeasurable benefits to the urban environment and the multimodal transportation system in addition to strengthening the city’s argument for the addition of a Metrorail station to serve Potomac Yard and nearby neighborhoods.
The Alexandria Aces Collegiate Summer Baseball Club 2009 season starts with their Home Opener in Four Mile Run Park on Friday, June 5, 2009, at 7:00 pm, against the Rockville Express.
It's also 'Alexandria Little League' night at the ball park, and all Little Leaguers, along with their coaches and the board of directors of the league will be a part of a very special pre-game ceremony dedicating the field to former City of Alexandria Mayor Frank E. Mann.
Tickets are just $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children!
HOST FAMILIES NEEDED
WITHOUT THEM COLLEGIATE SUMMER BASEBALL IN ALEXANDRIA WOULD ALMOST CEASE TO EXIST
Each summer, all over the United States, countless numbers of collegiate baseball players aspire to follow their dream of someday playing the game professionally.
Through relationships built by the various summer teams with college coaches around the country a "recruiting" process begins in the preceding fall to build rosters. This effort is put forth to offer players the opportunity to hone their skills and possibly impress a professional scout.
Without host families opening their homes to these young men and offering them a place to stay for two months, summer collegiate baseball would almost cease to exist.
This summer approximately 30 young men from all over the United States will descend upon our area for the summer to play baseball. From early June to early August they will play 42 games in 60 days.
A host family is only asked to provide a warm bed and access to a washer and dryer.
If you would like to volunteer as a host parent/family please contact Hilary Garner at 202 216-8304 or email Hilary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Essentially, Council deferred a decision until this Saturday's hearing (May 16) because no ARHA representation showed up. In fairness to ARHA (I'm practicing the golden rule, here), they were told it would likely be 8:30pm before Council got to docket item 22, then Council flew through the docket.
If all proceeds, Glebe Park in the Arlandria area will begin pre-demolition activities as early as next month, according to EYA representative Brian Jackson (EYA is the developer for ARHA on this project).
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I recently spoke to Alexandria's Open Space coordinator, Laura Durham. We discussed Four Mile Run Park Expansion: she said the site of a former dry cleaner should be environmentally certified this month (this site is the hold up on park expansion). I was told that then, and only then, could planning for Four Mile Run Park expansion begin (old post on the subject). I accepted that as just the way things work.
And then Kevin Beekman referred me to a docket item from a City Council meeting last February. I think this area is actually getting snubbed (again). It seems park planning and environmental studies and remediation could be a parallel process, as with Del Ray's pocket park (1 and 7 East Del Ray Ave). The pocket park was acquired in January 2008, and is already in advanced planning stages (November 2008 presentation on pocket park). The planning for Del Ray's pocket park included "any future environmental studies" as a component of the process. The following two excerpts from 05 Feb 08 City Council meeting docket item 6 seem to indicate there are environmental issues with that site as well:
As late as 1987, the property was developed with a furniture stripping business. The buildings on site were demolished, and the owner (at that time) was permitted by the Virginia Department of Health to bury paint remover and other residue from the business on-site as part of the demolition process. The current property owner has provided an environmental assessment of the site’s soil with the contract documents. The City will comply with any environmental regulations involved in the development of this site as apark. (pg 4)
Future Use of the Property:I think the citizens in the North End (Arlandria, Hume Springs, Lynhaven, Sunnyside, etc.), after 2 years, are getting tired of staring at demolished, weed covered lots that are a blight on the neighborhood. The least we could do is post a graphic of what could be (use something from the Four Mile Run Restoration Project) and begin the planning process. We know and understand that city staff is very busy, but they have to realize that the translation for people in the neighborhoods on the North End is "we're so busy with projects in the rest of Alexandria that we have no time for your area."
After the City purchases the property, Staff will initiate the park planning and design process. The public will be invited to participate in this design process, with review from the Park and Recreation Commission. Any required future environmental studies and work will be a component of this plan. (pg 5)
Contact the Mayor and City Council and insist they push staff to begin Four Mile Park expansion planning now. Brainstorming, requests for citizen input, and discussion would go a long way towards getting the project more shovel ready when all the environmental concerns are rectified.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
As part of the Eco-City initiative and efforts to cut cost, the City used a state capital grant to install two new solar-illuminated bus shelters along Mt. Vernon Avenue in December. Solar energy is a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way of providing lighting to passengers waiting in shelters at night and in the early morning hours. Lighting at bus stops creates a safer environment and is an overall amenity to the bus-riding public. Additionally, lighting assists bus drivers with seeing passengers waiting at the stops.While one of these shelters serves Arlandria at the corner of West Glebe and Mt Vernon, the solar upgrade merely replaced an existing shelter for northbound commuters. Arlandria (and Del Ray for that matter) is still seriously lacking in shelters serving southbound bus riders (there is only one shelter on the southbound portion of the Avenue).
There's still no news, however, on the much anticipated funding of additional shelters that were promised with the 2003 Arlandria Plan. The City's CIP budget still shows the $500,000 that was allocated for area improvements, but there is no prospect for it being spent anytime soon with no allocations pending over the next 5 years. Sure, the new shelters are nice, but additional shelters are surely preferable to spiffier ones.
The shelters can be found here:
- Shelter – Mt. Vernon Avenue and W. Glebe Road
Served by: DASH AT10 Metrobus 10A, 10B, 10E
- Shelter – Mt. Vernon Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue
Served by: DASH AT10 Metrobus 10A, 10B, 10E
- Shelter – U.S. Route 1 and E. Reed Avenue (Potomac Yard)
Served by: Metrobus 9A, 9E
- Shelter – Jamieson Avenue and Courthouse Square
Served by: DASH AT6, AT7
- Shelter – Ballenger Avenue and John Carlyle Street
Served by: DASH AT6, AT7
- Canopy – Hunting Point on the Potomac (1204 S. Washington)
Served by: DASH AT3 Metrobus 10A, 10B, 11Y
- Stop – N. Van Dorn Street and Kenmore Avenue
Served by: DASH AT1 Metrobus 8W, 8X, 8Z
- Stop – Lincolnia Road and Quantrell Avenue (Tower 2000)
Served by: Metrobus 7A, 7F, 7H, 7W
No rhyme or reason given as to why these were picked. No information on where the bus shelters would be most utilitzed.
Alexandria's Office of Transit Services & Programs and their Local Motion website/newsletter brings us some interesting news that's pertinent to our pedestrian/bike friendly neighborhood.
- The City of Alexandria "Pedestrian and Bicycle Citizens Group" will have its regular bi-monthly meeting at 7 pm on Monday, May 4 at Durant Recreation Center. All meetings are open to the public. Read more Here
- Prepare for Bike to Work Day with a FREE "Confident City Cycling" class. These free classes provided by the City of Alexandria and Washington Area Bicyclist Association are ideal for new cyclists or as a refresher. Register now for the Saturday, May 9 class at Cora Kelly Recreation Center.Read more here.
- Last chance to register for Bike to Work Day! Commonwealth Avenue and the Four Mile Run Trail have become major bike commute routes and they couldn't be more convenient. There are still a few more days to register for a free T-shirt, water bottle, bicycle light and possibly win a new bike at Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 15. No bike? No problem! Borrow a bike FREE from Bike-and-Roll. Read more here.
- Take our on-line parking questionnaire. Take the on-line parking questionnaire to voice your opinion about City parking matters. The link below will be posted available until May 15 and we'll use your response to help us better manage parking. Take the questionnaire here.
- "The High Cost of Free Parking" Community Forum with Donald Shoup. On Wednesday, May 27, come hear a free discussion with parking guru Dr. Donald Shoup, author of "The High Cost of Free Parking." Dr. Shoup will discuss how reforms to city parking policies can lead to a better pedestrian environment, cleaner air and streets, safer shopping districts and even fewer headaches for drivers. The community forum will take place from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday, May 27 at the George Washington Masonic Memorial in the Memorial Theatre (101 Callahan Drive, 22301).
- Four Mile Run Trail Ribbon Cutting on Saturday, May 30. Come celebrate the long-awaited grand opening of the new multi-use trail linking the popular Four Mile Run and Washington & Old Dominion trails. The new trail will provide a safer and more direct route for cyclists, runners and walkers under I-395 and West Glebe Road along the scenic Four Mile Run. Read more here.
Blogger DCmud had this post on Monday about a project nearby.
Live/Work for Alexandria's Main Drag:
"Virginia architect-cum-developer Gaver Nichols is gearing up to begin work on a new trend for Alexandria’s main drag, a project he is calling live/work housing. The Lofts at Del Ray Village - a three-story, 14,096 square foot development that will resuscitate a vacant lot at 2707-2711 Mount Vernon Avenue - will add much needed rental apartments, and offer tenants the opportunity to work from home from ground floor office space."DCmud says:
"The build-out is expected to be underway by July with construction slated to take at least a year."
Friday, May 01, 2009
The Street Maintenance Section is responsible for repairing all sidewalks, curbs and gutters, pavement areas in the public right of way. In addition this Section is responsible for snow removal, pothole patching, guardrail, fence and barrier repairs, as well as bike path and trail repairs on request.
It hasn't been more than a week since I reported some problem areas in the Hume Springs neighborhood and today I noticed spray paint identifying the areas to be replaced. I'm going to think positive thoughts and hope they follow up with the actual replacement almost as quickly.
There are many dollars that were promised Arlandria that have yet to be spent, but this is one way for us to get some of our just desserts. Be vocal, ask for things to get fixed or attention to be paid, and you'd be surprised how far that can go. If nothing else, it lets the city know that there are people in the neighborhood that care enough to speak up. We'll follow up on Capital Improvement Program dollars that have been designated for Arlandria that have been sitting on the shelf for years.
First things first. If you have a broken square or a whole block that is badly in need of repair, report it (problem reporting form). It only takes a minute to fill out, and, as I've said, I've seen good results so far. Thanks T&ES department!
UPDATE: The City repaired about two hundred feet of sidewalk along West Glebe back in March where water had been pooling for quite a while. The repair occurred about two week after using the online report form. In April, about a dozen locations with broken, missing, and raised (in excess of 2 inches) sidewalks were repaired within a week and a half (and that included rain delays).
All of this is the fall-out of just a few people getting together and deciding to roll up their sleeves and clean-up the neighborhood, not just with hard labor, but by putting their minds to it. The bottom line, it's not really any one persons job to look for problems. But with a lot of folks keeping an eye on things, things get done.